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Chicken Wings in Chicago

There are plenty of bars that sell wings. Any suggestions on some of the best in the city?

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  1. What kind of wing do your prefer? I think Mcgee's in Lincoln Park serves a good sized wing and the sauce is pretty good, a little unbalanced. It is hard to find a good wing though, and they rank near the top for me. BW-3s on lincoln is a chain, and the sauces are great but the wings are miniscule so you have to order a lot, and it gets pricey. People rave about buffalo joes in evanston, good meat, although I have thought they had too much butter in the sauce, not enough pepper and vinegar. it's not a bar, but a place just for wings and fast food.it has been a couple years though, so I'll give them another shot.

    McGee's Tavern & Grille
    950 W. Webster Ave.

    Buffalo Joe's (Evanston)
    812 Clark St., Evanston
    Tel: (847) 328-5525

    Buffalo Wild Wings
    2464 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
    Tel: (773) 868-9453

    3 Replies
    1. re: mitch cumstein

      thank you so much for your input. I've tried BW-3's and its what i call sub par. I am going to give McGee's a shot, plus tonight its 10 cents wings. Thank you for your input!

      1. re: mitch cumstein

        I also second Toon's Bar on Southport, they have really good jumbo wings!

        1. re: mitch cumstein

          There's a pair of bars on the northside owned by the same folks (Though I heard a rumor that things may have changed)-
          The Wild Goose on Lincoln- 4265 N Lincoln Ave and the Rail- 4709 N Damen Ave- both are sports-bar-type places, but that's fine for wings!

          I have kind of tired of the scenes in the bars themselves, but their wings are great- HUGE and simply sauced- I think it is distinctively "Frank's Red Hot" based, but they are what I crave when I crave wings. And they were 10 cents each on Mondays.

          I went to school in central NY and sometimes went on pilgrimages to Buffalo for the real thing- Syracuse had good wings, too-

        2. Toons on Southport.

          I am not a wing conoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I have tried them at a whole host of places in town--including many of the most-ballyhooed (e.g., Yakzies, Buffalo Joe's, BW-3, Hooters, McGee's, etc.)--and my favourites can be found at Toons, the neighbourhood bar on Southport.

          Toons serves meaty, unbreaded wings with a traditional Buffalo-style sauce, just like I like 'em.

          Oh, and, FWIW, I first learned about Toons right here:


          3857 N Southport (~ Byron


          1. If you want the "Real Thing" aka; Anchor Bar Buffalo style wings then; Franks for the Memories, 645 E Hawley St, Mundelein, IL, 847.949.9464 is the best place in the Chicago area period. Link to menu: http://ylunch.com/ylunchfax6000460060...

            Franks For the Memories
            645 E Hawley St, Mundelein, IL 60060

            1. I like Yakzie's wings best...they're perfectly sized, maybe a bit smallish, and usually cooked perfectly. The hot dogs are pretty good as well. I am not a fan of this place AT ALL but I admit that it's the best for wings. The beer selection is pathetic! Anyone ever try the Killer Death wings (not on the menu) at Yak Zies? In College I used to split a tub of 100 wings on a regular basis between two and had no less than an order of 30...yeah I know, I was a little nuts!
              Buffalo Joe's serves 2nd rate food. I recall on several occasions broken wings or mangled drummetes and limp and lifeless carrots and celery.
              I do enjoy BW3 wings as well. I like the consistency, variety, and quality.
              The last time I had McGee's (2 years ago) wings our entire group ended up with food poisening...except for me heh heh.

              For something different, try the tasty grilled wings at Jake Melnicks on Huron. They're lightly Latin spiced and taste homemade. They're quite good.

              If you're into grilling, buy a few of Steven Raichlens homemade dry rubs. I like the Lonestar and the Island Spice (sort of like Jamaican jerk). I usually make my own rubs and rarely ever buy store bought rubs but Steven Raichlen is a genius! His rubs taste soooo fresh. You're friends will love your wings, burgers, steaks, ribs, brisket, etc, etc, made with Steven's rubs.

              1. Supposedly Yakzies wings are delicious...also Kincades has a deal on Tuesday nights, its like 10-25 cent wings or something...dont really know the price, just know its cheap. Friends said they were good.

                1. Thanks for all your input. I tired Mcgee's its pretty good. the hote devil sauce was pretty spicy. But they were not fresh and there was little mean on the wings; which I find odd. Finn McCool's on Division has some pretty good wings and wing specials. If you are in the mood you should check it out.

                  Finn McCool's
                  15 W Division St
                  Chicago, IL 60610
                  (312) 337-4349

                  1. I have not been able to find any good wings south of Buffalo Joes. Have tried Yakzies twice and have been sorely dissapointed. Made the trip to Buff Joes and was in heaven.


                    1. My favorite wings are at Bird's Nest... Racine and Altgeld (just north of fullerton). Only three sauce choices, bbq, teriyaki, and hot. Get a pile of assorted flavors and a pitcher of beer, and you'll be a fan right away. Great uncrowded bar for football too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Beatnik

                        Actually the Bird's Nest is located on Southport (2500 N.). The wings are pretty tasty and meatier than most. Sunday features $0.25 wings which is perfect for football.

                      2. I could see where you might think Buffalo Wild Wings is subpar, but personally I just love their Medium buffalo sauce! I go on Thursdays for Boneless Wing Night; that way you get more meat with each wing and they're on sale for 50 cents that day.

                        I've definitely heard Buffalo Joe's is awesome for real wings though! So those two would be my recommendations!


                        1. Tribune reports the Yak-zies on Diversey is closing...

                          41 years... like it or hate it, the city loses a part of itself when these old establishments close down, usually for a chain to move in.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: delk

                            that breaks my heart. I went all through college when I lived really close, and my late uncle used to snack there as well back in the 70's.

                          2. They aren't buffalo wings, but Great Sea has amazing Korean style wings.

                            Great Sea Chinese Restaurant
                            3254 W Lawrence Ave
                            Chicago, IL 60625

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: rubinow

                              If we are going to permit entry of Korean-style wings in this discussion then I will mention Hourglass Bar, which serves far better wings than Great Seas, in my opinion.

                              Oh, and if you go, be sure to order the "hot" variant, which is not really hot at all.

                              Hourglass Bar
                              3658 W. Lawrence Ave.



                              1. re: Erik M

                                COOL...I wanted to get a report from there. I know there was a discussion about supposedly Korean wings.

                                1. re: rubinow

                                  Well, I hope that you enjoy them, but I probably should have been more specific in my original response. Let me clarify: the wings at Great Seas are too sweet for my taste, so I prefer the "spicier" wings at Hourglass. Yes, the wings at Hourglass have plenty of sugar in the glaze, but the resultant flavour profile is mostly comprised of mellow chile heat.

                                  At any rate, the Hourglass Bar itself is truly a sight to behold. I won't spoil the suprise for you, but trust me, you've never seen anything like it in Chicago before. ;) Oh, and if you can swing it, a later hour is preferable. The Korean crowd doesn't really roll in until 10pm.

                                  NB Don't be tempted to order anything but the gan pong gi (wings), the duk bok ki (rice cakes) and the haemul pajun (seafood pancake). The waiters will even tell you the same thing if you ask. ;)


                                  1. re: Erik M

                                    Great Seas' wings ARE sweet, but that didn't bother me. I was amazed at how popular they were, too. EVERY table in the restaurant had an order or two.

                                    1. re: rubinow

                                      And, EVERY (occupied) table at McDonald's has at least one burger on it, so what's your point? LOL!


                                        1. re: rubinow

                                          Try reading it again really slowly:

                                          Juuust becaaause the saaame iiitem appeeeears on everrry taaable doesn't meeeeean thaaat it is goooood.



                                          1. re: Erik M

                                            Um, the question marks are about your attitude, not what you said.

                                            Also, you made a poor analogy. McDonalds has built its business on burgers, so it makes sense that most people there would order them. Great Seas has a huge menu, so it's interesting that the chicken wings stand out among the dozens of other items. It's not surprising. Despite your description, they are good.

                                            I think I'll trust my own tastes instead of yours. I liked them. The people at the party I served them to loved them. That's enough for me.

                            2. Harolds Chicken Shack has the best wings, and other parts as well. Also fried Okra!

                              1. The Local Option on Webster has the best wings I've ever had. The atmosphere can be tiresome (loud sportsbar), but they have a non smoking section in back and you can always opt for carryout